Anyone else shoot an MKA 1919 at the MGM Iron Man?
Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:12 PM
Posted 12 June 2012 - 04:14 PM
USPSA # A56876 B Class
Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:25 PM
I'm eager to read your review. Looking forward to it when you have the time.
Carbon Arms 16" upper on a Firebird lower that I built!! (Firebird comp, Vortex Viper PST 1-4x MOA - capped, MagPul MOE Rifle stock, AR Gold trigger, JP captured spring)
Remington Versa Max 26" (C-rums lifter/trigger/load port/rib sight, full-size XRAIL, extended Remington factory chokes)
S&W M&P 9mm Pro 5" (Burwell Competition trigger job, Burris Fastfire III - 8 MOA, SSS Limited mag well & Taylor Freelance +10 base pads)
Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:46 PM
Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:12 PM
First, I will discuss my setup - including the mods I have made.
1) Firebird handguard
2) Super ghetto weight on the front operating rod (more on that later)
3) Firebird installed trigger group etc. and grip adapter
4) JP hammer spring
5) Ergo Grip
6) Tromix piston
7) Cerakote Micro-slick on all internal parts (note the black color on the bolt, more on that later too)
8) Bag O' Shot in the stock for more weight
9) Extended choke tube with comp
10) Titanium Cerakote on the upper/lower. I really don't like how this turned out. I makes this gun look even cheaper...try a different color.
11) Firebird right-hand charging handle
12) Sling mounts
I have NOT ground down the chamber or extractor corners like some suggest. I may attempt that in the future.
I took 4 Firebird 10 round mags and 6 factory 5 round mags to the Iron Man. I probably didn't need all of those the 5 rounders, but they served a valuable role as back up mags and as "specialty" mags - ie extra slugs, buckshot, heavy shot, etc.
I carried the 5 rounders in "Taco" mag holders. These things are awesome. The 5 rounders fit great, but if I need to I can put just about any mags in there and they hold just fine.
I carried the 10 rounders in a home-made craptastic mag holder that was a $17 skeet shooting accessory designed for empty shotgun hulls. It could carry 2 10 rounders. It worked ok, but I plan on making a kydex mag holder for them (unless I can talk someone else into it). Never made anything out of Kydex....That might be another post.
There was only one stage where I wanted to carry 3 10 rounders, the rest of the stages I could stage most of my mags so carrying 3 10 rounders wasn't a big issue. I do recommend a system that will carry at least 2 10 rounders and some 5 rounders.
The above photo is of Estate ammo which seems to work pretty well in my gun. Perfect? No. But it is the most reliable that I could find for the 10 round mags. I've seen other ammo suggested, but there doesn't seem to be consensus? Federal and Remington low-recoil slugs work pretty well also. Heavy shot will not work in my 10 rounders, but it runs fine in the 5 rounders.
Regarding the 10 round mags- First, it is a big disadvantage when shooting big stages and other shooters have Saigas with working 20 round drums. However, if the stage required the Saiga shooter to make a couple mag changes for some reason - sometimes I could catch up due to the MKA's superior mag change capabilities. There just aren't many stages out there that have that much shotgun in them.
The mag springs on the 10 rounders just aren't where they need to be. Overall, they work pretty well with the right ammo but I experienced FTE's, FTF's, and the worst - double feeds, all with the 10 rounders. The 5 rounders are much more reliable. The body of the Firebird 10 rounders ARE well-made and I have faith that they will be a great mag if the spring issues can get worked out. One nitpick about the mags, they are very hard to reassemble. It would be great if there was some way the spring attached to a false floor plate so you could push on that to compress the spring and slide the floor plate in.
I do like the idea of having some 10 round sticks on my rig, but a 20 round drum with consistent spring tension needs to be in the immediate future in order for this platform to really take off in 3gun.
One word of warning about both the 10 round and 5 round mags...don't "slap" them in on an open bolt. They will run past the bolt stop and lodge in your gun but good. Seat them with civility and they will work just fine. Mag changes are blazing fast on the MKA, as is discarding your gun on "safe" condition - due to the AR style safety.
You will note from the above list of mods the added weight. I found the stock MKA's recoil to be unpleasant..bordering on rude. Particularly when compared to other competition shotguns. The antidote? About 2 1/2 lbs. of weight. 2 lbs of lead shot in the rear stock and 1/2 lbs in bushings on the front operating rod do wonders for this gun's recoil. The weight up front really seems to help keep the barrel down.
The stock barrel on this gun seems quite thin and light when compared to my Tac 1100 and FN SLP barrels, so there's not a lot of weight out there to keep you on multiple targets. I hope to develop (or better yet..someone with better skill will develop) a less ghetto-riffic front weight. The downside is that this extra weight really likes to work the top nut loose - hence the wire through the nut to keep it on.
Accuracy - This gun has not been very accurate with slugs, at least none of the brands I have tried. I'm talking 5"-10" groups at 50 yards when shot out of a gun vise and using a red dot. That is twice the groups my FN will shoot. I'm not sure if that is due to the barrel weight, forcing cone, or what. I would love to have a better barrel for this gun - heavy and accurate, maybe with compensator ports.
Charging handles and the handguard. I love the Firebird handguard. It is well built and adds some additional weight to the front end. The side charging handle is very handy at times in a 3 gun match, but the right side charging handle is handy at other times. I'm glad to have both.
The lower... I have concerns about the longevity of the polymer lower if you are going to shoot this gun a lot. I am particularly concerned about the feed lips. It is quite easy to accidentally slam the bolt forward on the feed lips when assembling/disassembling the gun, thus causing damage to the plastic feedlips. This is not to mention what a few thousand rounds might do. Why not make that part metal?
It is a major production to disassemble this firearm. Some people may not care about that, but I have a habit of cleaning the Parma moon-dust out of my shotgun every night at the Iron Man. It takes a tool chest and an hour to clean this shotgun. Switching to an aluminum AR-style lower might also make it easier to reach the take-down nut.
I was amazed at this gun's ability with the Estate loads to knock down steel at longer ranges. It was very helpful at a match like the IM. I'm unsure what to attribute this to, but it was notable when compared to the other shotguns in our squad.
I do beleive that the Cerakote Micro-slick is a good idea, especially on semi-auto shotguns. Micro-slick is a "dry lubricant" and helps to keep the gun action running smoother, longer. It also makes the inside of the gun and the parts very easy to clean. Just wipe them down. Like others have posted, I run this gun very wet.
All in all, this gun is a fantastic idea, if not always well executed. A key issue here is the owners intended purpose. Much of the above would not apply to the owner who wants a cheap self defense shotgun on an AR style platform. For that owner, this shotgun is perfect.
I loved shooting the MKA at the Iron Man, even though I experienced problems on just about every stage. Most were easy to clear, although some...like a double feed while standing on the teeter-toter whilst shooting at a slug spinner at 50 yards were not good timing. Keep in mind that I Ro'd the 2nd half of the Iron Man, and I saw every version of semi-auto shotgun have multiple problems. So, it's important to keep some perspective here.
I'm sticking with this platform for now, and hoping that 20 round drums and better 10 round springs become available soon. If this gun was just a little more reliable, and had working 20 round drums, Saigas would be in big trouble. Add an aluminum lower for longevity and I think you've got the best Open gun available. Anyone want me to test their 20 round drum or aluminum lower prototype?
Edited by Montana3gunner, 14 June 2012 - 10:18 PM.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:54 AM
Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:12 PM
Thanks for the tip on the self locking nut.
Posted 19 June 2012 - 02:30 PM
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